I received this email from a friend of mine, Bob Helfst. It speaks volumes about things that used to be done and why we have the problems we have today.Watch old for those old farm guys!
I spent most of the afternoon with my 70 year old father-in-law bailing, stacking and putting up the last cutting of hay from his fields. We stood on a wagon that swayed and shifted as it was pulled around the bumpy field by the tractor while we lifted, carried and stacked the 40-80# bales of hay while the tractor and wagon were in motion. We then unloaded 200 bales and stacked it in a barn. This involved carrying those same bales while walking across bales you have already stacked. Obviously modern technology in the form of tractors, hay balers and elevators make the job easier, but it occurred to me that the balance, power and strength endurance necessary to complete this task is considerable and my 70 year-old father-in-law who weighs all of 145 pounds was right in the middle of it with me. As he puts it, he doesn't work as fast as he used to, but he can still get the job done. At a time in life where I begin worrying about my patients falling and breaking a hip, he's riding a wagon and carrying bales of hay. If a sailor has "sea legs", my father-in-law has "farmers' legs". I look at the things I do with the patients I see and the folks I train and much of it is based on development of some of those same qualities.